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02
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08
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2018

Haufe Group’s Growth Remains Strong with Sales of 366 Million Euros

Haufe Group continues to grow. At the end of its fiscal year on June 30, 2018, the family-owned enterprise from the southern German city of Freiburg registered total sales of 366 million euros. This represents growth of around seven per cent compared with the previous year (343 million euros).

Haufe Group’s strategy of consistently focusing on the digitalization of its products and services paid off in this fiscal year, too. Especially its digital solutions proved extremely popular on the market. “In times of digital disruption, the business performance of companies depends greatly on their digital maturity. The fact that we succeeded in continuing to grow so strongly in precisely this area confirms that our strategy is headed in absolutely the right direction. We will remain courageous and tread new paths,” says Haufe Group CEO Markus Reithwiesner. CEO Birte Hackenjos adds: “One constant is to put customers’ needs at the heart of what we do. In the future, we’ll achieve this by focusing even more strongly on the potential of our employees.”

In particular, integrated solutions that support companies in their transformation with an individual combination of software, training, and consulting are making a positive impact on growth in the market segment for large corporate customers. In the portfolio for the self-employed and micro-entrepreneurs, the cloud solution lexoffice saw substantial gains: The online accounting solution for freelancers and small companies doubled its number of users to 70,000 within a year. Above all, the strategy of automating bookkeeping and offering users strategic advice on the basis of their data bore fruit.

Not only did Haufe Group grow in terms of sales, it also grew as a whole. The number of employees increased to 1,950 in fiscal year 2018. The globally operating and Freiburg-headquartered company has 19 offices in six countries.

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16
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02
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2017

Haufe Group on the Globalization Path with Training in China

Freiburg, February 16, 2017 – Haufe Group is consistently pursuing its growth strategy through investment in the booming training business in China. In January, it acquired the entire academy business of the Chinese company Zhonghy Haufe, in order to further expand its professional development offerings in the highly dynamic Chinese market.

The need for training offerings in China is high – a fact that can be seen clearly in the country’s planned economic and social development. Current key topics are not only the stabilization of growth and the modernization of production structures, but also the participation of as many sections of the population as possible in further economic and social development. As a result, the need for training offerings has increased significantly. Haufe Group, which has already had a presence in Beijing since 2013 with its company Haufe Beijing Technology, has been watching these developments for some time and caters to them with integrated global projects and concepts. “As the market leader in training offerings for companies, subject matter experts, and managers, we can transfer our experience to China,” explains Markus Reithwiesner, CEO Haufe Group. “We give priority here to the precise requirements of Chinese companies and – together with our experienced colleagues in China – we’re developing a portfolio that addresses the specifics of Asian corporate culture.”

By acquiring the entire academy business, in which Haufe Group previously had shares, Haufe Beijing Technology is supplementing its HR portfolio with a wide range of training offerings, and adding to its selection of seminars and conferences, in-house courses, and online and offline seminar videos. In particular, the expansion of annual conferences with up to a thousand participants per event plays an important role.

Hansjörg Fetzer, Managing Director Haufe Akademie Freiburg, sees great growth potential in enhancing the portfolio with seminars and in-house training courses for large and especially midsize companies. This area is one of the core competencies of Haufe Akademie in Germany. “Our many years of experience and expertise in the training sector will be very helpful for the development of the Chinese subsidiary,” Fetzer says. That’s why the Haufe Akademie experts in Freiburg are working closely with the colleagues in China.

In addition to the academy business, Haufe Beijing Technology markets the cloud-based software Haufe Labour & HR Guru, and has done since 2013. The product is based on the Haufe Office Line software and supports HR departments in their daily work by providing content and tools. HR business partners can find specialist information and toolkits for their day-to-day business tasks on the portal. The enhanced offering cements Haufe Group’s position as a well-rounded specialist in HR and training for midmarket companies.

By acquiring the academy, Haufe Beijing Technology has grown its workforce to almost one hundred employees.

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06
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08
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2019

Haufe Group Exceeds Targets with Sales of 407 Million Euros

Freiburg, August 6, 2019 – Atthe end of the fiscal year in June 2019, Haufe Group recorded sales of 407million euros. This represents organic growth of around 11 percent comparedwith last year, when revenue topped 366 million euros.

Haufe Group’s strategy ofempowering companies to transform themselves in an ever more dynamic marketenvironment is paying off in this fiscal year, too. The transformationofferings in the market segment of large corporations saw especially stronggrowth. Integrated solutions that help organizations and people shape theirchange processes with a tailored combination of consulting, software, and trainingare increasingly in demand. Here, Haufe Group is strengthening its position asa holistic partner for companies on their journey into the digital future.

In the segment of theself-employed and micro-enterprises, the cloud strategy in particular isproving successful. The online accounting solution for freelancers and smallbusinesses – lexoffice – is thriving and managed to increase its user numberscompared with last year to almost 100,000. But the trend goes way beyond theautomation of accounting, with a move toward an integrated ecosystem wheresmall enterprises can form networks and adopt a data-based approach tocontroling their business. In the large customer sector (for example, Ergo,Migros, Swisscom), HR cloud solutions saw growth of over 20 percent – largelythanks to the further development of talent management software. The number ofparticipants in digital learning solutions quadrupled to over 250,000.

Through its own successfultransformation from a classic print publisher to an innovative provider ofintegrated business solutions, Haufe Group knows what it takes to flourish in afast-growing and agile work environment. “Part of our fundamental understandingof ourselves is not to rest on our laurels, but rather to continually questionwhat we do and constantly reinvent ourselves,” says CEO Markus Reithwiesner. COOBirte Hackenjos adds: “To do this, we rely on a decentralized organizationalstructure with more agility, flexibility, and speed. Only then can we meet thechanged requirements of the market with innovative solutions and leverage ourstrengths optimally for our customers.”

Not only did Haufe Group grow in terms of sales,it also grew as a whole. The number of employees increased to 2000 last fiscalyear. The globally operating and Freiburg-headquartered company has 21 officesin seven countries.

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10
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08
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2020

Haufe Group: Revenue of 393 Million Euros in Fiscal Year 2019/2020

Freiburg, 08/10/2020 – Haufe Group closed the fiscal year 2019/2020 with revenue of 393 million euros. Sales in the past fiscal year thereby almost reached the level of the year before (fiscal year 2018/2019: 407 million euros; sales decline of 3 percent). Continuous growth in digital solutions largely compensated for pandemic-related lost revenue for example, in the area of classroom seminars, in 2019/2020.

Haufe Group’s fiscal year 2019/2020 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020) was essentially shaped by two factors, which were both triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales developed as planned for the first eight months (July 2019 to February 2020), but then increased in the last third of the fiscal year (March to June 2020) for digital solutions, while falling, for example, for classroom seminars, all of which had to be canceled during the lockdown.

Demand for digital solutions increases among freelancers and micro-enterprises

In the segment of freelancers and micro-enterprises, the past fiscal year saw a considerable rise in demand for digital, cloud-based solutions – for example, the online accounting and payroll products from lexoffice. Lexware, too, profited from increased demand. Growth in these segments confirms Haufe Group’s strategy of supporting freelancers and micro enterprises by providing automated and connected solutions for their business processes.

Growth in digital transformation offerings for medium-sized companies and large corpora-tions; lost revenue in classroom seminars in the training business

In the customer segment of medium-sized and large corporations, Haufe Group enjoyed strong growth in digital transformation offerings, remaining on track most notably in the first two-thirds of the fiscal year. Here, too, growth drivers were cloud-based HR solutions such as Haufe Talent Management and Haufe Zeugnismanager. Year on year, the company experienced clear double-digit percentage growth in this segment. Under the Haufe brand, Haufe Group brings together solutions that support companies in their change processes through consulting, software and training. Among these solutions are the training and professional development offerings of Haufe Akademie, which comprise digital and classroom learning. During lockdown, the business with classroom training was halted completely, leading to con-siderable lost revenue in this segment. In the same period, the demand for digital learning programs rose. To cater to this, more than 120 products were created or moved to digital learning formats at short notice. As a result, it was possible to acquire around 50,000 new participants during this time alone.

“Our strategy is effective, even in challenging times”

“Haufe Group’s formula of retaining a broad base is paying off. The strategy of empowering our different customers to transform themselves with digital solutions in increasingly dynamic markets is effective, even in challenging times,” say Birte Hackenjos, CEO, and Harald Wagner, CFO Haufe Group. Against the background of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, the leadership duo sees it as a success that Haufe Group almost reached the revenue level of the previous year. They add: “We would like to thank our customers for the great trust they place in us. And we would like to thank our employees for their exceptional dedication every day, particularly over the past months.”

At the end of fiscal year 2019/2020, Haufe Group employed around 2,100 people in Germany and abroad.

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31
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07
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2017

Haufe Group outstrips target, achieving sales of EUR 343 million

Freiburg, 31 July 2017 – The Haufe Group achieved growth of around 13% as at the end of the fiscal year in June 2017. The family-owned enterprise, based in Freiburg, had sales of EUR 343 million, considerably outstripping its already ambitious target of EUR 332 million.

Marked growth is evident in particular in new products that target digital change in the market. The Haufe brand achieved the largest-ever increase in the history of the Haufe Group in its ‘Corporate’ segment. It acquired several leading national and international companies from the automotive and telecommunications sectors as customers for Rhythmix, its new digital transformation offering. Rhythmix is a mix of consulting, software and training. It gives companies the tools it needs to face the challenges of the future. Using an equal degree of innovative and interactive methods from the field of gamification, a holistic approach helps companies implement their business strategies, in a way that is tailored to the people, processes and tools within the organization.

The need for support for the comprehensive change processes underway within companies was also evident at Haufe Akademie, where there was increased demand for company‑specific courses as well as strong growth in its open further training program. There was also a significant increase in bookings for management programs that focus on the Haufe leadership model, for international seminars and further training programs.

New customers for Lexware’s Cloud solutions also increased significantly. Whereas lexoffice – the online accounting software – experienced a rise of almost 100% in its active customers, three out of four new customers also opted for smartsteuer, Lexware’s online taxation software, to submit their personal tax return. Automation and speech-recognition processes are the latest technological trends in these areas. For example, smartsteuer already implements Alexa Steuermann-Bot – Amazon’s language interface – to help users compile tax returns.

“These developments are a very clear indication that digital transformation has hit home and that customers are starting to use these products”, says Markus Reithwiesner, CEO of the Haufe Group. “This sends us a clear signal and we will continue to invest strongly in these new markets and solutions.”

There have been some staffing changes in the management board. Martin Laqua (65) – who has been at the company for more than 25 years – moved to the Advisory Board as at 1 July. Birte Hackenjos (48) and Markus Reithwiesner (54) now take on the roles of Co-Holding Managers at the company.

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04
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05
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2020

Haufe Group: New Era in the Leadership of the Family-Owned Enterprise

The shareholders and the Advisory Board of Haufe Group herald the start of a new era in the management of the family-owned enterprise. From today, Birte Hackenjos (50) and Harald Wagner (49) will together lead the corporate group. Birte Hackenjos, who has been Holding Director and COO since 2013, assumes the role of CEO. Harald Wagner, Commercial Director and a managing director at Haufe Group since 2008, is the new CFO. With these appointments, the shareholders and partners are carrying on the successful and tried-and-true dual leadership principle. In its sector, Haufe Group is considered one of the most innovative media and software companies in Germany and has grown strongly in recent years, notably with its digital offerings.

Markus Reithwiesner (57), who joined the company in 1998, was appointed Holding Director in 2005 and CEO in 2013. He leaves Haufe Group after 22 years at his own request, on the best of terms and in mutual agreement with the shareholders and Advisory Board, to pursue new challenges.

Andrea Haufe, chairperson of the Advisory Board, expressed her sincere thanks to Markus Reithwiesner for his very successful tenure at the family-owned enterprise: “Markus Reithwiesner recognized the opportunities of digitalization at the end of the 1990s – much earlier than many others – and grasped these opportunities for our company with tremendous success. With the confidence of the Advisory Board and in collaboration with the other members of the Holding Board, Markus Reithwiesner drove the strategic transformation of Haufe Group and made it a digital pioneer. We are greatly indebted to him – not least for putting us in such a strong position to face these challenging times.” The corporate group’s sales have more than quadrupled over the past 20 years. Haufe Group today has over a million customers, including all DAX 30 companies, and employs more than 2,000 people in Germany and abroad. The company has been honored for its successful transformation many times over. It was, for example, named Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 by the multinational professional services company Ernst & Young.

Birte Hackenjos, who joined the company in 1997, was previously Holding Director and COO responsible for operational business. She was appointed to the Holding Board in 2013 and helped shape the digital transformation of the corporate group right from the start.

Harald Wagner has been Commercial Director since 2008 and managing director of various companies in Haufe Group for several years. Prior to his start at Haufe Group, Wagner was managing director of the publishing group Österreichischer Bundesverlag in Vienna, Austria.

The change at the top of the company comes after a number of discussions between the shareholders and the Advisory Board, as well as Markus Reithwiesner and Birte Hackenjos, which already began last year. Martin Laqua, member of the Advisory Board and until 2017 Holding Director, says, “The development of Haufe Group over the past years was always characterized by profound change as part of our strategic transformation into a digital champion. Nevertheless, we maintained the values of a family-owned enterprise throughout this sustained change process. This congruence of continuity and transformation is intrinsic to the identity of our company and is also important for us – the shareholders and members of the Advisory Board – in defining the future of the company.” Laqua adds: “That is why continuity and transformation shape the new era of management that we are currently ushering in. On the one hand, we are accommodating Markus Reithwiesner’s request to tread new paths after more than 20 years with the company. And on the other hand, with Birte Hackenjos and Harald Wagner, we are entrusting leadership to two eminently experienced, entrepreneurial, and future-oriented managers. In their previous capacities, they have contributed significantly to the success of Haufe Group. Furthermore, they are held in high esteem by the workforce as well as by the shareholders and the members of the Advisory Board, and are sure to continue the company’s success story in collaboration with its employees.”

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02
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10
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2018

Haufe Group Acquires Stake in Fintech Kontist

Haufe Group is already a market leader in enterprise managementand accounting for small and midsize businesses (SMB) and freelancers with itsLexware brand. Now, the company is further strengthening its market position byacquiring a stake in Kontist. The combination of accounting and a financialsolution offers companies a new and innovative way of automating all theiradministrative processes through a single platform. Not only does this lightenthe load on entrepreneurs, but it also drives the digitalization of SMBs.

Times remaintough for the self-employed in Germany: The bureaucratic and administrativehurdles are high and software for managing small businesses invariably comes inthe form of standalone solutions. But help is at hand from Haufe Group and itspowerful Lexware brand, which provides a platform on which SMBs can manage alltheir business processes for accounting, banking, and tax. Kontist is a keycomponent on the road toward the end-to-end automation of business processesvia a central ecosystem. This latest move increases Haufe Group’s focus on thealmost 4.3 million SMBs and the growing freelancer community in Germany.

“With our stakein Kontist, we’re taking another step forward for our customers – towardautomating all their business processes and meeting their tax requirements.Entrepreneurs and freelancers no longer have to separate accounting andbanking. Instead, they can manage their processes and their companyjust-in-time through a single platform solution. We’re therefore making adecisive contribution to driving the transformation of small and midsizebusinesses,” says Markus Reithwiesner, Holding Director Haufe Group.

The twopartners’ first task together will be an in-depth technical integration of theonline accounting software lexoffice and the Kontist bank account. Users will thenprofit from automated accounting, a real-time estimate of tax payments due, andan integrated Mastercard for expenditure management. This combination willcreate a completely new user experience.

What’s more, Haufe Group and Kontist aresetting up a co-creation lab to develop innovative digital products. The objective is to rethink thebusiness workflows of SMBs and streamline them by integrating differentservices and partners on one platform. The search is on for more partners fromthe financial sector to help realize this vision. 

“Haufe Group, asthe market leader, is the ideal strategic partner for Kontist, because itshares our vision of developing innovative services for the self-employed – andit also has decades of expertise with its wide range of products,” saysChristopher Plantener, founder and CEO of Kontist.

With HaufeGroup’s minority share in the company, Kontist secures series A funding.Kontist already received 5 million euros in seed financing from Founders, aDanish company builder, and the Danish growth fund VœkstFonden.

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28
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10
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2019

Haufe Group Directors and Advisory Board Named “Entrepreneur of the Year 2019”

Freiburg, October 28, 2019 –Last Friday, the Holding Board and the Advisory Board of Haufe Group were namedEntrepreneur of the Year 2019 in the digital transformation category. Ernst& Young’s award for entrepreneurial excellence recognizes the achievementsof entrepreneurs who boost Germany’s success as a business location withvisions, ideas, and engagement.

Every year, entrepreneurs throughoutthe world vie for the award in a total of 60 countries. In Germany, the awards,now in their 23rd year, were presented at a big gala in the Mercedes-BenzMuseum Stuttgart on October 25, 2019. The Holding Directors of Haufe Group,Birte Hackenjos and Markus Reithwiesner, along with the Advisory Board membersAndrea Haufe and Martin Laqua, accepted the prize on behalf of all the creativethinkers at Haufe Group. They were honored in the digital transformationcategory for successfully and sustainably transforming the company from atraditional publisher to an international provider of software and professionaleducation solutions. In his prize-giving speech, Hartmut Jenner, CEO Kärcher,stressed Haufe Group’s entrepreneurial courage and continuous will to change.“Haufe Group from Freiburg has earned the top grade in digital transformation[…] One thing was clear to this family-owned enterprise: Only through radicalchange would the company have a future. With absolute customer focus and newideas, and with its brands Haufe, Lexware, and Haufe Akademie, Haufe Group hasdeveloped from a specialist publisher to become a leading digital mediacompany.

“The success of our digitaltransformation is based on a holistic understanding of change, which applies aboveall to our organization and culture, as well as to our products and services,”says Markus Reithwiesner. “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award,which honors all the employees at Haufe Group as active agents oftransformation.”

Haufe Group now draws on its experience from itsown metamorphosis to create solutions that will help people and organizationsnavigate their way successfully through the digital transformation. “We believeit is our responsibility to pass on our expertise, and – together with ourcustomers and partners – shape change and ensure future viability,” explainsBirte Hackenjos.

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